February 20, 2015

67's win 6th straight with 4-1 win over the Spirit; Brown not impressed

The Ottawa 67’s skated to their sixth consecutive win for the first time since the 2009-10 regular season, but coach Jeff Brown was anything but satisfied with his team’s efforts in the 4-1 victory against the visiting Saginaw Spirit on Friday night.

While the coach’s comments do not reflect it, the 67’s led from the beginning with a 2-0 lead to go into the first intermission. Ben Fanjoy opened the scoring by deflecting in a beautiful cross-crease pass from Adam Craievich who walked in untouched from the faceoff circle. Later in the period, Nevin Guy scored his 1st of the season wiring a point shot behind Evan Cormier in the Saginaw net. This proved to be the eventual game winner. Connor Graham gave the 67’s a 3-0 lead midway through the second period.

Cormier allowed 4 goals on 27 shots in the losing cause, while Liam Herbst backstopped the 67’s stopping 24 of 25 shots fired his way. It was only Jacob Riguette that was able to solve Herbst with a quick wrist shot in the slot.

Sam Studnicka rounded out the scoring on the powerplay. Specialty teams were big for Ottawa today as they went 2/2 on the powerplay and 2/2 on the penalty kill.

Despite the win and what the scoresheet tells you, Brown was still not happy with his team’s effort.
“We got a lot of selfish hockey players. Thank god we got some other guys that are buying in and being good team guys and playing for one another,” said Brown about the team’s unlikely heroes. “The team's more important than the individual stats. We got those guys leading the way right now. It's unfortunate that not everyone wants to buy in.”
Brown clearly not been happy with his team efforts for the last little while and has shortened his bench many times in the last few games. He’s unsure if it’s getting through to them.
"I just keep hoping that in the locker room guys are going to call each other out and hold people accountable,” Brown added. “You can only show videos so many times and show the selfishness so many times. It's a broken record here every night. It's just frustrating
Brown’s comments have not fallen on deaf ears.
“Coach Brown has been preaching since day one about the importance of being there for your teammates and bringing it every night and competing,” said Liam Herbst who earned his 19th win of the season. “I know he wasn't happy tonight even though we won but at the end the day he's looking at the big picture. He wants us to be a team that will go far in the playoffs and some efforts we've had recently, we won't be able to do that.”
The win puts the 67’s in a better position than they were in before the game. With the help of the Soo Greyhounds winning 7-3 over the North Bay Battalion tonight, the 67’s are now tied with North Bay for the 3rd spot in the Eastern Conference.
“We just want to get in on a strong note and win every game. In the last 6, we've been able to do that. And whatever the other teams do is what they do and we can't control that. We just want to focus on winning as many games as possible for the last little bit here,” said Herbst.
With North Bay idle, the 67’s have a big opportunity to take over sole possession of 3rd in the Eastern Conference with a win over the struggling Mississauga Steelheads Saturday afternoon. With playoffs around the corner, the Steelheads have a fight of their own. A win would help them gain some ground on the 8th and final playoff spot as they are currently sitting 3 points back.

The 67’s aim for their 7th straight win, but will the coach be happy with their effort?

Game sheet here

Three Stars as Selected by TSN1200

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Hardest Working 67's: Adam Craievich  

Some pictures from the game:

Ben Fanjoy opening the scoring on a cross-crease pass from Adam Craievich

Celebrating Nevin Guy's first goal of the season
Ryan Orban making things difficult for Saginaw's Jack Webb

 Click here to see more pictures.

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